EPA Takes Action on Natural Gas Production

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Natural gas extraction is an important part of consumable energy in the United States.  The White House estimates that natural gas provided 25% of the energy used in the United States in 2011. 


Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency (?EPA?) estimates that 13,000 new and existing natural gas wells are fractured or refractured each year in the United States.  Natural gas is removed from its deposits, in part, by fracturing the underground rock formations surrounding the gas. 

 

On April 18, 2012, the EPA updated its standards relative to the extraction of natural gas production.  More specifically, the updated standards:

  • Include the first federal air rules for natural gas wells that are hydraulically fractured;
  • Require that operators of new fractured natural gas wells must use technologies and practices to capture natural gas that the EPA states ?might escape the well?; and
  • Are meant to reduce the amount of methane released from a well.

The federal government will likely continue to issue requirements relative to the natural gas extraction industry as the White House issued an Executive Order on April 13, 2012 creating an Interagency Working Group to Support Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources.

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